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Over the course of two meetings members of the Spencer County Board of Education took a significant step in ameliorating the deficit situation with the Kentucky School Boards Insurance Trust.
During the first meeting held on July 28, Spencer County School Superintendent Chuck Adams said that the situation was slightly better than originally anticipated. Adams said that current estimates placed the payment due and owing by the school at just over $486,000 instead of the $639,000 originally projected.
Adams said that a 10 year interest free loan, which the district had originally thought it could obtain, had become a 6 year interest free loan with certain caveats. According to Adams, 25 percent of the $486,000 would have to be paid in year one under the interest free loan scenario. Other options to pay the amount included capital outlay funds, which Adams said had been protected in favor of building a new elementary school. Adams added that some school districts had voiced concern with the payments and had vowed not to pay the money back. Adams warned board members that refusal to pay would probably result in added interest and attorneys fees. The matter was tabled for further discussion which occurred during the special meeting on Aug. 4.
During the Aug. 4 meeting, Adams said that the district did get bonding potential just under $15 million. Board Member Sandy Clevenger made a motion to make a request to use capital outlay to pay off property and liability insurance in its entirety and then make the first rehabilitation payment of $77,437 and then remaining payments to come out of the general fund. The board approved the measure 4-0 with member Ange McKinney not present.
The Board also toured the McAllister property located at 101 McAllister Lane to determine if the property would be suitable for the new elementary school the board plans to have built.
After meeting in executive session regarding the property, board members made a motion to offer $9,500 an acre for 20 acres or $10,000 an acre for the entire 27 acre farm.
Board members also moved to create an athletic trainer position, but decided to take additional time to determine exactly what path to take in filling the position. Originally the board had asked for requests for proposals in order to ascertain the feasibility of creating an athletic trainer position for high school athletes. Spencer County Physical Therapy and Kentucky Orthopedic Rehab Team submitted RFPs to take over the athletic trainer duties if the district decided to create the position. During the July 28 meeting the board voted to create the position, but wanted additional time to consider the proposals. During the Aug. 4 meeting, Adams said that the board’s counsel was looking at issues in the proposals relating to funneling children from the athletic training program to individual physical therapy entities which Adams described as a “no, no.” Adams added a suggestion that perhaps the board might want to look at hiring a teacher with athletic training credentials. Board members voted unanimously to wait for the attorney’s review to be completed before moving forward on a decision regarding the issue.
During the meeting on July 28 board members also conducted the following business
• Members heard from Spencer County Assistant Superintendent Chuck Abell regarding the Race to the Top grant. Abell said the district received $38,000 for personalized learning hardware. Abell said that the district also received $20,700 for software and $18,300 to expand wireless services outside of the school walls. Abell suggested that the district could look into outdoor wireless “islands” for students to use. Abell also suggested that non-students could possibly use the technology outside, provided they followed the district’s usage rules.
• Members approved raising the price of school lunches pursuant to new federal and state requirements. Members felt that the new laws basically tied their hands with respect to the increases.